5 B2B eCommerce Myths Busted!
Quick Summary 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers are to take place through digital channels by 2025. That by itself puts the conventional notions of B2B eCommerce to rest. Numbers and stats bust 5 other prevailing assumptions regarding B2B eCommerce!
Today’s B2B organizations are increasingly relying on digital channels to change the discourse of their interaction with buyers. While traditional, offline channels have long helped build trustworthy relationships, digital channels rise as a more proactive option to meet buyers’ higher expectations for more streamlined, consumer-like buying experiences.
Gartner’s Future of Sales Report expects 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers to take place through digital channels by 2025. That by itself puts the conventional notions of B2B eCommerce to rest.
Numbers and stats bust 5 other prevailing assumptions regarding B2B eCommerce!
Myth #1: eCommerce isn’t all that relevant to B2B Companies
Busted! While in-person selling was the most dominant B2B sales channel pre-COVID times, the massive digital shift brought by the pandemic has pressured B2B merchants to expedite their digital timeline and accelerate their B2B eCommerce adoption. According to Mckinsey's B2B Pulse Research, more than 65% of B2B companies across different industries now have the capability to fully execute B2B transactions online.
For the first time, eCommerce and in-person transactions are tied for the highest revenue-generating B2B sales channels; each contributing to almost 18% of total business sales.
Myth #2: B2B Merchants should funnel their focus on one single channel
Busted! When analyzing the different stages of the B2B sales cycle, one prevalent trend is usually noticed and that is “the rule of thirds”; B2B buyers have settled into an almost equally divided sales mix consisting of traditional channels, remote human interactions as well as digital self-service.
Over the last couple of years, B2B sales are becoming steadfastly omnichannel, with eCommerce, face-to-face, and remote videoconference sales all becoming an integral part of buyers’ journey. If anything, this signal that delivering B2B omnichannel experiences is far more than a temporary wave for merchants to ride out; it is a sea of opportunities that set the tone for current and future success in the B2B landscape.
Myth #3: an elementary B2B eCommerce presence does the trick.
Busted! Customers generally reward rich virtual buying experiences. At first, B2B organizations have fallen behind the seamless, performant, and informative standard of B2C digital platforms. However, that is beginning to drastically shift. More than 80% of B2B sellers are now holding their eCommerce website to the same or even higher standard as their other channels. Today, B2B merchants are heavily investing in portraying offerings and multiple shipping options, effectively communicating quality and price guarantees, humanizing the interaction with the buyers, and providing personalized recommendations to meet buyers' heightened expectations of online shopping journeys that speak to their needs.
Myth #4: eCommerce only supports low-priced transactions.
Busted! In the same Mckinsey Pulse survey, 35% of B2B buyers expressed their willingness to spend $500K on a single online transaction, whereas 15% of the buyers are comfortable enough to spend over a million dollars. Those figures have been on the rise in recent years, and the level of online comfortability is only expected to increase in the months to come.
Myth #5: B2B eCommerce should focus on transactions and not experience.
Busted! Though the price is a determining factor for B2B decision-makers, according to Digital 360 Commerce 2022 Research, 51% of business buyers come to a B2B eCommerce site attracted by an excellent user experience. To be successful in today’s online landscape, B2B merchants have to strategize not only to increase sales and generate revenue but also to build a loyal base of recurring customers.
It is safe to say that real-time customer service, online transparency regarding product availability and pricing, mobile responsiveness, and a harmonious buying experience across multiple channels have become the standard. Reviews, virtual product demos, loyalty programs, free shipping, and fast delivery are certainly becoming the determining purchase factors.
If you have read this far, selling B2B in the digital space is definitely of interest to you. At this point, we’d like to shed some light on the B2B eCommerce platform you’ve been waiting for; B2B on Shopify Plus. In its newest Editions, Shopify announced a new set of features built pointedly for B2B merchants, directly into Shopify Admin, and with access to all of Shopify’s most potent customizations like store themes, discounts, and Functions. This will allow merchants to manage their entire eCommerce transactions—whether it’s B2B, DTC, or both—all from one store.
Avex leverages the power of Shopify B2B to help merchants build custom storefronts that reflect their brand’s identity and streamline their checkout experiences. Avex also manages all merchants' wholesale features including company profiles, price lists, net payment terms, custom store themes, customer accounts, and a self-serve portal all in one place.